The Dewitt Creativity Group is a united effort on behalf of the creatively-minded students at DHS to ensure continued innovation and expression in all forms.

Michigan Teacher of the Year Visits DHS

The following is an email correspondence between Gary G. Abud Jr. ( 2013-14 Michigan Teacher of the Year) and Jodie McKean (Principal of DeWitt High School) regarding his impressions of DeWitt High School, the DeWitt Creativity Group, DeWitt Research and Development Laboratory, and the Creative Leadership: "Opportunities for Social Innovation" class:


Good Morning Jody,

I wanted to follow up with you from our meeting and my visit to your school. I apologize for the delay in getting back with you, but I've just returned from a couple weeks of travel out of town with the MI Teacher of the Year Program.

Thank you again for having me out to your school and showing me around. It was a great experience and has really inspired a lot of ideas that I will take back to my own district. It was very impressive to see the collaborative and collegial culture that you have among your staff and students. It is very evident that everyone in your building is on the same team and has Panther Pride. I really appreciated your focus on student achievement and embracing transparency with your school performance. Every classroom that I visited had an air of high expectations and a supportive culture of learning. The kids in the Creative Leadership class were impressive in how they operate with professionalism and an entrepreneurial spirit at such a young age. The design and engineering kids demonstrated that learning by doing can go a long way. The discussions going on in other classrooms were rich and academic in nature, which speaks to the laser-like focus on instruction your staff must have.

I wanted to let you know that I've informed my principal, Kate Murray, at GP North High School about my visit and how inspired I was to bring some of what I learned back to our school. I encouraged her to learn more about what is going on at DeWitt HS and she might reach out to you in the future.

Also, Since we met, I have had the opportunity to meet with Governor Snyder and attend the Governor's Education Summit, where I gave a talk to more than 300 attendees from around the state. The theme of the Summit was "connect. collaborate. create." I took the opportunity to brag about the visit to your school to the Governor, Mike Flanagan, and at the Summit in my talk. I felt that what I observed at your school embodied exactly what the Governor and this Summit were encouraging in our schools: creative work coupled with partnerships in the community and active learning for kids. I again had the opportunity to share about your school at the Delta Kappa Gamma Intl. Society of Women Educators Convention last weekend in a similar way. I talked about how schools like yours tell the story of success in Michigan schools. Finally, I was able to be part of a national convention of state teachers of the year in D.C. last week where we met with the U.S. Dept. of Ed., Arne Duncan, and President Obama. Again, in sharing success stories from Michigan schools, DeWitt high school came up and was part of my sharing about exemplars in our state.

It was an exciting opportunity to visit your school, and I'd like to encourage you to consider presenting your school's success and some of the highlights of your programming and methodology at a future State Board of Education meeting. This is exactly what the MDE needs to know is out there and promote around the state.

Keep working hard, and feel free to share any of this email with your committed staff and students.

I'll likely be reaching out in the future to learn more about how I can emulate some of your school's ideas at my high school in Grosse Pointe when the time comes.

Thank you again,


Many thanks to Gary for taking the time to visit DHS and promoting the work of staff throughout the state of Michigan. Gary is a true champion of student learning and innovation in K-12 education.